Multi-Head Self-Attention with Role-Guided Masks

The state of the art in learning meaningful semantic representations of words is the Transformer model and its attention mechanisms. Simply put, the attention mechanisms learn to attend to specific parts of the input dispensing recurrence and convolutions... While some of the learned attention heads have been found to play linguistically interpretable roles, they can be redundant or prone to errors. We propose a method to guide the attention heads towards roles identified in prior work as important. We do this by defining role-specific masks to constrain the heads to attend to specific parts of the input, such that different heads are designed to play different roles. Experiments on text classification and machine translation using 7 different datasets show that our method outperforms competitive attention-based, CNN, and RNN baselines. read more

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